Handling a Seller’s Market – How To Get Your Offer Accepted

Dated: June 26 2021

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Handling a Seller’s Market – How To Get Your Offer Accepted

As we search available homes together, we will generally find one of two listing types – a well priced, desirable home that will sell quickly, and a less desirable or overpriced home that has been on the market a long time.  Handling the latter is easier as we have some leverage, either on price or condition, and can make a reasonable offer without much competition, and probably find a tired, more motivated seller who is unhappy their home has been sitting unsold while other homes sell quickly. Handling the former, the well priced desirable home, is somewhat more tricky when you consider there will likely be multiple offers or at least the perception of such by the seller.

So, how do we improve our chances for success?

  1. Have financing prepared in advance – We go into the offer being pre-qualified for a mortgage, and having sufficient cash on hand for the earnest money deposit, downpayment and closing costs – we don’t leave the seller with any doubts about your ability to complete the transaction
  2. Be aggressive with the offer – In a seller’s market with strong interest for a well priced home, there is no room for bargain hunting or discounted offers. While a less desirable fixer-upper, or overpriced home has room for negotiation even in a seller’s market, if the house you want is well priced and in good condition, be prepared to offer full asking, or even slightly more (although we will always keep the market value of the home in mind before making an offer!)
  3. Use a buyer’s agent who can present the offer – most real estate agents focus on listings and are not focused on the specific needs of buyers, but a buyer’s agent is trained and experienced to use certain techniques that benefit the buyer in the transaction. One of those techniques is being able to present an offer in person to the seller. Unfortunately most agents just email their offer to the listing agent and hope for the best, but this is not the right approach if you want the listing agent and seller to be focused on your offer. When we sit down with a seller who is reviewing multiple offers, this is our opportunity to sell you and position your offer as being the most desirable for the seller
  4. Personal statement – this is often a difficult thing to ask of our buyer clients, but trust us – in a competitive situation, it can make all the difference. Take a few minutes to write out a personal note to the seller that explains why you love their home, what you like most about it, how you see yourself living there, and some details about yourself and your family. We present the statement with your offer and it truly helps you stand out as a buyer, creates a personal connection to the seller, and can even guide the seller to accept your offer over other offers which may be higher priced

Also, just because we’re in a “seller’s market”, doesn’t mean that every house we see will be highly sought-after or sell quickly for more than the asking price – every home is different, and we will strategize our approach accordingly.

New Construction is always a valid “Plan B” – if we are looking at resale homes that equal or exceed the cost of a comparable new construction home, and we are outbid on more than a couple opportunities, then we really need to look at new construction communities, including quick-delivery (no waiting) models rather than overpay for a resale home and the stress of the bidding and offer process. We should always go into any offer situation with that option in our back pocket, or talk about focusing on new construction as an option when we begin our home search.

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Steve Enchin

I've grown up in a real estate family with multiple commercial and residential multi-family properties, and bought/flipped/sold multiple properties, and have been guiding my own network in the purchas....

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